I won't say it wasn't a swell trip. We saw friends, had a good time at Boskone and the New York City Comicon, did business, enjoyed a great dinner with my family...
Getting the norovirus in the middle of our travels did kind of suck, however, and then on our way home, Parris had her luggage robbed. Someone opened a locked suitcase and stole her ipod and a whole bunch of new peripherals that she'd just bought at the Apple Store in NYC. They also stole the two locks. (Both brand new "TSA approved" locks, I might add. So far as I can see, locking your luggage with a TSA approved lock is completely useless, since everyone and his brother has the keys. And of course you're no longer allowed to use locks that might actually keep thieves out of your luggage. It's all to make us more "secure," hoo hah).
She's getting the usual run-around as regards to filing a claim for the stolen items. TSA blames the airline, the airline blames TSA, and no one takes any responsibility. Continental Airlines has been especially useless. TSA and the police have actually been treating Parris with courtesy and doing what they can to help her, but from Continental she's gotten nothing but phone trees, disconnects, brush-offs from disinterested "customer service" people, and repeated refrains of "it's not our responsibility" -- though indications are that it is the Continental baggage handlers who are the culprits here.
We also had trouble with Continental on the way east, but that was in connection with our carry-on luggage. We were seated in row 19 out of Houston to Boston, yet by the time we were allowed to board ALL the overhead space on the plane had been filled by the passengers seated in rows 20 and back, so an especially obnoxious flight attendant insisted that I check my carry on (not even a wheelie, but a nylon shoulder bag), and threatened to call "security" and have me removed from the plane when I refused to give it to her (the bag contains valuables and personal items that cannot be checked). I told her the bag would fit under the seat, but she refused to believe me, choosing to go by her own three-second "eyeball" inspection of the bag rather than listen to my assurances. That damn bag is TWENTY YEARS OLD and has fit under many airline seats over the decades. I have crossed oceans with the bag under the seat in front of me, I was trying to tell her... but she didn't want to listen, she just wanted to threaten me with the FAA. Fortunately an older and wiser flight attendant intervened before this young obnoxious one could throw me off the plane, and actually helped, opening an overhead bin, turning one of those monstrous carry-on "rollers" sideways, and making room for my shoulder bag. If not for her, I might have been dragged off my flight.
Anyway, Continental Airlines has moved right to the bottom of our list as "airline we are least likely ever to fly again." They won't let you carry on your valuables, and if you check your stuff, they steal it.
But enough venting. We DID have fun on the trip as well, when we weren't throwing up or being robbed. Boskone is still a great con, although the new hotel is a definite step down, and we had a good time at the New York City Comicon, where I did signings for Tor, Bantam, and DBPro/Marvel, got to meet the entire amazing Dabel clan, and did all sorts of business.
Even so... it IS good to be home.